Image source, Lydia Ellery

A gamer who shares her online name with Netflix smash hit Squid Game says she is losing work because of it.

Lydia Ellery, 32, said companies are now hesitant to employ her because of her handle and her perceived association with the show, despite the fact she has been known as Squid Game for more than a decade.

She said she has also been subjected to online abuse by fans of the show.

As a result, the Twitch streamer is considering changing her name.

"I've received a lot of hate from the fans and I've been turned down for work because of it [the name]," she told the BBC.

Lydia, who is from London but lives in Bristol, has been on social media platforms like game streaming site Twitch and Instagram as Squid Game for 11 years, and as SquidGaming on Twitter.

She has 42,300 followers on Twitch and is also part of Yogscast, a collective with more than seven million YouTube subscribers.

"For me it was just a silly name I thought up on the spot," she said. "My friends called me squid because it rhymes with lid, and my name is Lydia."

Looks like I might have to change my handle after all. I've lost 2 amazing presenting opportunities because people don't want to hire me with my "squid game" handle. This is really getting me down now.

— Lydia (@SquidGaming) November 2, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

But now the name has a different meaning.

The Korean TV series – which tells the story of a group of people forced to play deadly children's games for money – has become a viral sensation.

The Netflix show was watched by 142 million households around the world in its first four weeks, and Lydia has been hit with a wave of attention.

"Because the show doesn't have an official Instagram account, I was flooded with people tagging me or sending me messages thinking I was the show," she said.

In order to promote Squid Game, Netflix uses its own account.

Squid Game Profile Icons are now on Netflix and I'm immediately changing to Sae-byeok! pic.twitter.com/rhNQxPA5vx

— Netflix (@netflix) October 14, 2021
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Lydia said some of the messages have been hateful, which has made her feel stressed.

"I started getting abusive messages from people. People were getting angry with me because they were mega fans… and thought I took the account from the show.

"I had to turn off notifications on my Instagram because it was just constant. My phone has been flooded."

Hack attacks

Lydia's accounts have been so popular that she's been kicked out of them several times and been asked to reset her password.

"People were reporting my account and endless people have tried to hack into my account, I keep getting emails from people trying to log in. It's been really frustrating," she said.

Lydia said that coupled with the loss of income and association with the TV series, she is considering changing her name – and the brand she's built up for more than a decade.

"My SEO [search engine optimisation] is completely messed up now," she said.

"If you search for me and my brand which I've had for over 10 years… all you get is the TV show. More recently I've been turned down for work because of my handle.

"I guess it's the connotations of the show – it's a very violent show, maybe it's that?"

Image source, NurPhoto

In addition to her live-streaming, Lydia does some presenting and advertising work – which has suffered.

"The companies who were giving me this recent role specifically told me I didn't get the work because of my Squid Game handle," she said.

And while she doesn't want to change her name, she isn't sure if she has a choice.

"I feel down about the whole situation and incredibly fed up," she said.